Editor’s Note

A shrine is emerging along Placer Hills Road, the winding country road down which I drive every morning, bringing my daughter to high school. Last weekend, one of the high school seniors drove into a ditch, killing his best friend, who was in the passenger seat. Our little town is in mourning. While no one knows quite what to say or do, the rituals of grief are being carried out. At the scene of the accident, a cross appeared, then flowers, and photographs wrapped in plastic, and finally, Tibetan prayer flags. Every time I drive past, a car or two has stopped at the site, and people are quietly examining the objects.

This issue of God’s Friends brings together articles about grief and mourning, ranging from the journal entries of Anonymous, an incest survivor, to an article about creating a liturgy for parents whose children who have died, by Yvonne Rand, a Buddhist priest. Assembling these articles, I was struck by the ubiquitous nature of loss, how it is a repeating motif in our lives, from simple losses such as the childhood friend who moves away to more comprehensive losses of nation, family, health, identity. A question that often arises in the midst of loss is “Where is God?” In this issue, our writers reflect upon their own experiences of loss, and grapple with that question.

Perhaps reading this issue will bring up your own experiences of grief and questioning. If so, and you feel inspired to share those experiences, please email us, and we will try to post your letters on the website or print them in our next issue, widening our conversation and deepening our experience of becoming God’s friends.

Joan Stockbridge, issue editor

Dear Reader

God’s Friends continues to change and grow in what are, to us, exciting ways. With this issue, we had so many good articles and so much good art that we enlarged the print version from 12 to 16 pages—and we still didn’t have enough room. For the first time, we are offering some content that is available only here, on the website:

• “A Public/Private Grief,” by Colleen Kavanagh, is a reflection on mourning a friend who died on one of the 9/11 planes.

• A longer form of Donald Schell’s “Ashes” than that which appears in the print version.

• More of Denise McGill’s haunting photographs of people living with AIDS in Africa.

All the articles in the print version are also available online in two formats: PDF and HTML (text only). The PDF files are rather large, but allow you to view and print the journal’s pages as they appear in the print version, art and all. If you don’t have a high-speed Internet connection, the HTML files allow you to read and print the text with a much faster download time. The art in this issue may also be viewed as a slide show.

We are working on a full redesign of both the print and online versions of this journal, which we hope to unveil in mid-2003. We’ll keep you posted about our plans as they evolve, and would be delighted to hear your comments on any aspect of God’s Friends and godsfriends.org.

—Your friends at God’s Friends

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